Archive for September, 2011


Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on September 29, 2011 by secretchan

This is Ghengis. A tough little fellow, as he was in this picture. Now he is six months old and into everything.

Sometimes one asks what is in his mind… The answer, of course, is nothing at all. He like all animals responds to what is natural without thinking about it.  His wise nature keeps him from harm…That is as it should be.

He is where we should be. As Linji declared:

“This is the realm of true reality, where you forget what is on your mind and stop searching. In a wild field, not choosing, picking up whatever comes to hand, the obvious meaning of Chan is clear inthe hundred grasses.

Indeed the green bamboo , the cluster of yellow flowers, fences, walls, tiles and pebbles use the teachings of the inanimate; rivers, birds, trees and groves expound conflict, emptiness and selflessness.”

If your  mind can reject words and concepts and reach the experiences then you will be like Ghengis. The green bamboo , the cluster of yellow flowers, fences, walls, tiles and pebbles are what they are, no more. Everything interacts and Ghengis is just one part of that whole interaction.

Why not? 

When he sees our green  bamboo he reacts naturally to that bamboo as a Sharpei must. A cluster of yellow flowers he may eat or ignore. Fences, walls, tiles and pebbles are there to react to,  so he may scale them, chew them or play in any of a number of ways, including simply removing what can be removed to another place.

We have that capacity also for natural spontanuity, but this consumer world has forced us to set it aside… We do not use our words and concepts as tools but as masters  guided by Identity.

The Chan idea of when sitting, be sitting … when walking, be walking . But we sit and think and walk and think… Is there anything that we do or will do that has not passed by the inspection of thought.

There are few that know the secret life force of green bamboo or yellow flowers. There are few that can see a fence and let it be just that.

It is natural for a child to play with mud, sit down in a puddle , throw a stone or reject any human that invades his world that he cannot stand… But we have other ideas for him or her… They paint their trees on paper in a way that we do not understand … so we have to change his expression into what we in our closed minds see as a tree.

Our parents brainwashed us, as we brainwash our children…  Ghengis is free … We reject that freedom for a piece of silver,,,, Who is Judas?

Thank you Ghengis

Shan jian



Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on September 27, 2011 by secretchan



This is Chocolate the sister of Cocoe and she, unlike Cocoe , who has what is called a “horse coat”,  she has a “bear coat”. That means that her fur is longer and more silky. We call her sometimes “Little  bear” but she responds to Chocolate. 

In this photo she was still just a puppy, now her tail has that full circle and like her brothers and sisters she is the equivalent of a three year old child.

What is her major quality that is different than that of Cocoe?  I think that it is “Determination”. She will one day be for sure a female alpha.  I tried to pull out of the hat some other lesson that she is teaching us, but that is the most important. She just does not give up. In the Dharma lessons we do talk about both DETERMINATION and PERSEVERANCE and that is her great strength.

We normally think of “determination and perseverance ” as a strictly mental factors, but that is not so.  Determination and Perseverance are deeply rooted as  physiological elements. Now the interesting question is whether it is a mind moment that drives the physical expression or is it the first physical expressions that forms a mental illusion of Determination and Perseverance?

Contemplation with direct experiences shows that they are basically  physiological elements that are Visceral. In the face of difficulties it is the body that responds and this has its mental coorelates.  That should be evident by just watching Chocolate, for she is not conscious of herself as a separate creature (an I” ) and cannot drum up mental Determination or Perseverance. Yet they are there.

So why do we not show determination and seem forced to mentally apply determination to a project or situation? Why, when we fail in something, do we tell ourslves to persevere?

Too often the human creature avoids difficult situations in order to avoid failure. They have other reasons drummed up by Cognitive Dissonance, but the truth is they fear failure and the consequences.

There is only one real solution and that is to develop Equanimity … In an ordinary sense it MUST come about by reaizing that there is really NOTHING that is important even Life or Death…  This is not, however Intellectul indifference. But it must initially be mentally generated with every intention.  

Now why is that? It is because our Determination and Perseverance is masked and pushed down by Identity, who basically is a Coward.  

Of course we know that there are no real Identities, but this apparently cowardly Identity is just a mixture of shelved memory responses of Confusion which is visceral and Acquisativeness which is emotional.  The mental componant says We SHOULD have Determination and perseverance… and so we have an internal mental battle which must be resolved.

In the dharma practices we know that all three are frauds and by meditation we can eliminate the symptoms of Identity and by Chan Contemplation destroy the Identities  altogether.

But what can we do in the meantime? .. We can use a Mindfulness and remain as conscious as we can of the messages that eminate from the body.. When you have difficulties ignore the mind and listen to the voice of your body which declares “resist and persevere”… The voice  is really there if you listen… That is the Dharma Voice.

Thank you Chocolate for the daily message.


Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on September 25, 2011 by secretchan

This my Dharma friends is Cocoe , considering whether to eat grass or not, on the steps to the seminary terrace. This was an earlier shot, for she is now six months old and nearing that stage when her body and character has taken full form. Her wrinkles have been filled out somewhat now.

She is one of Glorias two daughters. The other is called Chocolate.  Of all our Sharpeis Cocoe is the most curious and the most active. Perhaps because when she was a young pup she seemed to be the smallest and had to fight for her food. She has learned that her Sharpei Rights are equal to any other and is always in the food fray on equal terms.

Her body has formed now with an elegance of a Top Model. She is alert always. It is not that she is always searching for some mischief, but that she is always alert to every opportunity. She is what she is and is always alive and ready for whatever occurs and her curiosity is not the same as the mindless search which we humans make for the impossible.

We search, but what are we searching for… Freedom from Suffering ?  A great Awakening ?  a Life that is Comfortable. That all seems so ridiculous for we have an important lesson to learn.

The Master Foyan declared:

” If you are searching, really what difference is there betweenyour search and the mere following of a sound or a form. If you don’t search, is there a difference between the earth, wood or a stone? What you need to do is Search without Searching!”

Now what does that really mean. If you observe Cocoe and her curiosity you will see that she is never searching FOR something.  When there is a sound she searches for is source. When there is a novel form in her view, she searches to find out what it is? There is not in her the compulsive impulse to Search. The search arises without the impulse or command to search.

That is as it should be for us also..

We should not be in this world searching for Significance. We should not be searching for Peace. We should not be searching to establish our Identity. We should not be searching for Order in this life. These searches are fruitless, for we would if we were foretunate discover that there is no Significance to be discovered; that Peace is an empty concept for it can only be found together with the concept of war. That Identity is completely Empty for it is a great potentially debilitating delusion; we find that Order is ony a tool that is useful only in understandig Chaos and that really all Searching is endless and energy consuming   that is rather like the polishing of a rock with a feather to make a mirror.

Cocoe simply is alert and waiting to follow sounds and form…

You should simply be alert and waiting to follow the Dharma which is to be found in every rain shower, every pasing cloud, in a rushing stream , in snow on a mountain, in fact within every element of Nature that you have forgotten exists as True Dharma.

Thank you Cocoe.


Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on September 23, 2011 by secretchan


This is Gloria.

Ku xin Shan, our late VIPASSANA master, always called her “Licking Puppy” because that was, and still is, always her first greeting.  

She came to the seminary, like Dunkel, with a serious skin problem and a tail that was always down,  far fron the joyous Sharpei curl. Fortunately, she did not have leishmania and so now she is about as healthy as a Sharpei can be. She has not the external beauty that human’s look for, but she is the closest that the human creature can get to Friendship.

While Dunkel, who had the same father, was Noble she is indeed Glorious, that is to say she is always has her tail a-wgging and is the first to come to you. Her tail now is up there like a Sharpei banner.  She is also the first with an incredible energy to set the alarm when there is  new face anywhere within a hundred yards.

If she had human characteristics they would clearly be Dharma one’s; Alegria, and Compassion without a doubt. Where does this come from? It is clearly Genetic, for she was born and reared with Dunkel and Nantou. Each has their own genetic heritage, and each  quite different..

Gloria has the Sharpei characterristic of Independance, which humans would call stubborness, and resists all the learning that suits human comfort, but there is not much for her to learn… why should she learn anything at all that is not natural? Most of the things that humans impose upon their animals suits human fancy not nature’s dictates.  

Her Sharpei characteristics are inside her and I wondered what human characteristics were inside the human creature, hidden away…. If a Sharpei’s characteristics are true belonging to it’s tribe and guarding it’s territory, what are the most important characteristics of the human creature.

Apart from the unique capacity to have a True Compassion, Gladness for others, and live with  Benevolent affect, the most important are the linked pair CURIOSITY and CREATIVITY..  But to awaken these from the depths of stained Samsara takes teachings, meditation and a solid daily application.  But what really is the value  of the teachings and meditation? Is it no more than Brainwashing?

The value is very high of course, although  there is nothing to be actually learned. That  is the SECRET for all that the human creature requires to lift themselves from bondage  is all there inside  waitng to be liberated.

The Master Yuanwu declared:

The words of Buddhas and Masters of Chan  are nothing more than instruments and methods to reach the Truth. When there is an Awakening and one experiences the truth for oneself  you discover that all the teachings are there in your interior.

Therefore, you can see that all the verbal teachings of Buddha and Chan Masters are no more than echos and reflections so don’t turn somersaults in your head.”

That means that you should listen, but relax and without the aggitation of conscious intellect,  simply start  to really open the Chan Forest Gate to that natural Curiosity and Creativity and all will become clear.

But you cannot accomplish this by just sitting with an empty mind, seeking relaxation or cures for your daily problems. Nor do you  need to follow others with their habits and styles. You must not follow the sounds of your own Identity Drum either, no matter how romantic that may sound.. 

Just listen to the echos of the teachings, repeating and repeating within nature.  Just look at the reflections of the mountains and streams, the woods and the fields, the animals and small creatures that are our companions in this life.

It is all there if you have the guts to let go, here and now, of what you do not need.  Be stubborn in defense of what is natural and correct inside you and don’t be another one of the robots that march to the tunes of State, Religions, Education and the Daughters of Mara.

Thank you Gloria.

Gloria simply required the opportunity to express her own nature… That is an important lesson, for you too can exoress your own true nature… But you have to give yourself the opportunity.


Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on September 21, 2011 by secretchan



Impermanence has made its indelible mark and Dunkel is dead and Lucky Blue is now eight months old.

He is the image of his father and his behaviour is identical, but not being the alpha dog his comportament is (for the moment) more submissive when he is around Nantou.

He was born as a great surprise, for we had no idea that Dunkel was pregnant and when she delivered this single small ratlike creature that could nestle in our hands it was an uncalled for bounty.

Why a bounty?

It was because we could see the day by day change in form and behaviour. Now that is a surprising thing, for the growth from birth to nine months brings about remarkble changes. Upon reflection one naturally asks where those changes come from. The answer of course is that they are genetically produced and that from birth the codes were present for all those physical and behavioural traits.


We are no different. From birth all that we are (or rather, could be) is present. There are factors which do add the changes of experience. In a natural and correct human creature there are  drives for natural comfort, security and belonging; natural curiosity and creativity, play behaviour for both body and mind; metbolism and reproduction factors; and perhaps most important the survival impulse that actually generates our honest and true experiences of Compassion, Benevolent Affect and Gladness, when others are glad.

How fantastic… How beautiful.  What the hell has happened.  It is all there ready to come out, but all is covered up by the virus of Identity. We are no longer human creatures but cosmological Jesters, Trixters that bite his own tails, destroying our own potential and the world around us.

That I suppose is why so many try to find an answer when the system declares, “something is very wrong here”.  Few find the answer and most  these days are trapped by the words and promises of religion and Fellow Trixters. 

I run around in our web page and this blog telling everyone that the sky is falling, but like Chicken Little I am ignored. So I sit in the Seminary with a few advnced students watching the growth of Lucky Blue, knowing that every human creature is lucky to have this human mind and body. Yet almost everyone  ignores that fact  and generate Confusion, Acquisitiveness and Aversion with Trixter messages which drive them in the wrong direction with the fable that all human creatures have the right to “pursue happiness”. They should of course also add Suffering in that packege.

Well Being that is natural without Identity and Duality is far away for all if there is not a remarkable change of True Introspection and Liberation. 

Lucky Blue as he grows is a perpetual reminder that we can be true human creatures if we have the guts to  cast out the Trixter and set aside the burdens of material and mental garbage which we carry.

Thank you Lucky Blue



Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on September 19, 2011 by secretchan


Dunkel was a temple dog and the mother of Lucky Blue .. She had slowly been dying from Leishmania over the past two weeks. Yesterday she died peacefully and quietly with dignity. Of all our dogs she was the most noble. Perhps because she was different, a throwback genetically to the original Chinese Sharpei.

Her tail curved, not circular. her head angular and boney and a disposition that would not be part of the pack.

She died and I felt sad, not for her, for she had lived a marvelous life of freedom and care, but for me, because she was no longer present to share our life.  I wondered at the moment of her death if we accept death with the tranquility that she did, for she like all other animals  knows nothing of life and death. 

No! We do not. Because our minds grasp this life and fear death which we do not understand. Yet life and death are one thing.

One of the clear messages tobe learned here is that while we fear Death, we do not fear life, and we should.

Life,  for many in this world is a living hell and for those with good fortune there is an internal living hell where all happiness is loaded with potential suffering.

While I cannot say that I will greet Death with longing, certainly, Death brings no fear and I remember a childhood poem…in which both Life and Death were seen as great Imposters … and that is what they really are… If you live life without grasping it with desire then you live every glorious moment… and are integrated completely with all that is natural.

One of the great problems in life is that we are continually grasping, living in past and future without much regard for the present except with respect for what pleasore it can bring. 

Count your blessings and you will see how fortunate we are and  if you realize that we are a unique creature with regards to evolution that has consciousness at a sufficiently elevated level you will see how fortunate we are to be alive.

We have an Awareness of Life and that is extremely important. Why can’t we be satified with just that? Why can’t we be satisfied to see that we are a part of all life, the diversity which includes all plants, all animals?

If you can manage to be as one with the “dusty world”, as Dao suggests and Chan supports, then you are really living in the moment correctly. But you probably have forgotten how to live in the moment.. So you are really DEAD here and now…Yet you will worry more about dying as time passes and the grey hairs come  and the wrinkles grow.

How old are you now?… approaching forty or even fifty… Where has your life gone … will the rest of it be the same as it has been.. Have you really been part of the human race? have you been able to set aside work and the future in order to embrace a tree, to share gladness with a racing sqirrel, to see more in a butterfly than beauty? I could go on and on.

When you see the sun rising in the morning, what do you feel. You feel splendid. But that is an error… What you are relly saying s “It is glorious for I am seeing the sun”… You have lost a great opportunity to be as one with the sun… and the moon and every living thing great and small.

Death is slowly creeping up on every living creature… Are you ready? Will you be able to say on your crimson bed of death … I lived my life … or will you only be able to look back on an empty life of false happiness and possesion.

Thank you Dunkel for a glorious lesson..


Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on September 17, 2011 by secretchan

After a long fight against invading bacteria I am out of the sick bed and able to confront this stined and tainted world once more.

One of things that really puzzles me is why there is so little concern over the destruction of nature…I see blogs on different topics where readers are in the thousands. Here if I get a dozen that is something.

Most readers are egocentric and I suppose that makes other egocentric people happy .

So where do I go from here.  Do I just talk about our “temple dogs”?

They are Nantou, Gloria, Dunkel (who is not to last long) Lucky Blue, Ghengis, Coco and Chocolate?

It would certainly be enjoyable for me. For others I am not sure.

Nantou is “Top Baron” and was born in Finland and he is now six years old.

Here he is with his eldest son Lucky Blue.


The question is what can we learn from Nantou?… He is being exactly what he is, an Alpha Sharpei.

He sets the standard and puts the other males in place (Lucky Blue and Ghengis) both his sons.

But any scuffles are immediately forgotten. Then he lives his life exactly as a Sharpei should, within the limits which we humans have set.

So that perhaps is the first lesson from our Temple Dogs…. To live for the moment…but without Identity.   Not to dwell in the yesterdays –  nor in the tomorrows.

How many can manage that, for that is both Dao and Chan Buddha Dharma.

He has the great fortune to be a Dog (at least a templedog) for he does what is natural and does not think..

Now what a great boon that is.. It is not that his system does not act correcty, but he doesn’t think with a “me and a mine” involved.

So for today I will leave it there and see if anyone is interested. in continuing more profoundly with that idea.

In the next blog I will talk about other  lessons to be learned forom our Temple Dogs.

Our web page by the way is  But it is for serious Buddha Dharma students not Dharma Dabblers.

In the next few days I will try to get this Blog better organized.

Per ardua ad astra … Through hell to the stars.